MISAMIS Oriental Governor Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano questioned on Monday, November 7, why Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno failed to collect real property tax (RPT) from Pilipinas Kao Inc. (PKI) during his nine years as Misamis Oriental governor.
Emano said the firm’s total assessment for 11 years should not have reached P631.5 million if Moreno had collected from the Japanese-owned firm.
Emano insisted PKI’s exemptions in paying local taxes only covers payment of the business tax but not the RPT.
Moreno may not have collected taxes from PKI following a supposed undisclosed agreement similar to the 2014 tax settlement between the city and Ajinomoto Philippines, Emano said.
Emano made the accusations against Moreno after the latter said the Provincial Government committed a mistake in issuing warrants of garnishment against PKI.
"Ingon si Moreno nga sayop daw kay nagkolekta tag buhis. Ngano kaniadto wala niya kolektahi og buhis ang PKI basin pareha ni sa Ajinomoto nga naay negotiation nga wala masayod ang katawhan," Emano said.
Emano added PKI paid their business tax until such time that it was exempted due to Special Economic Zone Act, otherwise known as Republic Act 7916, but the firm still has to pay for the RTF.
Emano said other multinational companies in the province have been paying their obligations to the Provincial Government.
"Kaniadto, gabayad sila then nahimong economic zone. Sa business, tax exempted sila pero sa RPT, magbayad sila," Emano said.
Emano said he suspects that PKI may have the guts to file charges against the officials of the Provincial Government because Moreno may have been on their side from the very beginning.
"Tipik sa iyang pamunuan sakop na sa Peza (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) ang PKI unta nagkolekta sila RPT pero ang pangutanan ngano wala sila mangolekta. Unsa ba kahay kasabutan," Emano said.
Emano said he is not averse to court-mediated settlements between the Provincial Government and any company willing to enter into agreements on their tax obligations.
"Ang uban nag-negotiate sila ug nangayo mi authority sa Sanguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council) like Moresco nga cooperative man gani gabayad sa buhis kini na hinoong multinational company," Emano said.
"Akong duda gisaligan nila ang mayor sa Cagayan de Oro," Emano added.
The word war between Emano and Moreno stems from a decision by the Office of the Ombudsman to suspend an official of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Government for the neglect of duty in connection with the anomalous issuance of warrants of garnishment against a Japanese firm in Jasaan town in 2014.
Local Treasury Operations Officer IV and acting provincial accountant Marilou Rivera was suspended for one year after she was found guilty of the charges filed by Pilipinas Kao Inc. (PKI), a company that supplies high quality and biodegradable chemical products from coconut oil in both local and international markets.
Based on investigation by the Ombudsman, the Provincial Government had assessed the company's unpaid real property taxes for 11 years from 2002 to 2013 in the total amount of P631.5 million.
Procolo Olaivar, manager of the (Peza), sent a letter on September 26, 2013, citing PKI's exemption from paying local taxes, including real property taxes since it is covered by the Special Economic Zone Act.
The Philippine government declared the whole plant site in the town of Jasaan as an economic zone in 2001.
Emano said the Provincial Government will ask the Ombudsman to reverse its decision by filing a motion for reconsideration (MR).
"Magpadayon ta sa koleksyon nato sa ila. Mag file ta og MR then tan-awon nato unsa resulta then moadto dayon ta sa other remedies," Emano said.